Courts & Crime

Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh named special counsel for Penn State investigation

PHILADELPHIA — The Penn State Board of Trustees is hiring former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh to lead the investigation of how the university handled allegations that former football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted at least eight boys over a period of 15 years.

Trustee Kenneth Frazier made the announcement during a press conference held in center city today. Frazier and Freeh did not know how long the investigation might last or how much it might cost.

"We are committed to leaving no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what happened — who knew what, when, and what changes we must make to ensure this doesn't happen again," Frazier said.

He emphasized that Freeh will have free reign over the information and will be completely independent. Freeh will be empowered to investigate employees up to and including the board of trustees itself, Frazier said.

“No one is above scrutiny,” Frazier said.

Freeh said he will not be limited by the time frame of the grand jury report.

It was announced at the trustees' Nov. 11 meeting that Frazier would lead an investigation into Penn State's handling of the allegations.

Sandusky is facing criminal charges of sexual assault stemming from allegations that he raped or assaulted eight boys.

The state Attorney General's office says Sandusky met the boys through The Second Mile, a nonprofit the former Penn State football coach started in 1977 to help at-risk children.

Frazier also announced that former astronaut Guion Bluford will be appointed to the nine-member committee. Bluford is a 1964 Penn State graduate.

Frazier also announced the creation of a hotline 855-290-3382 or to report any information that could be relevant to the investigation.

Here is the Board of Trustees committee:

Ken Frazier, Chairman

Ron Tomalis, vice chairman, secretary of education

Mark Dambly

Jesse Arnelle

Keith Eckel

Karen Peetz

Dan Hagen, Faculty Senate

Rodney Hughes, graduate

Freeh was an FBI special agent from 1975 to 1981, before becoming a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In July 1991, former President George Bush appointed him U.S District Court judge for the Southern District of New York.

In 1993, he was nominated by President Bill Clinton and sworn is as director of the FBI.

The committee is examining the actions of university officials in response to allegations of sexual abuse detailed in a grand jury report released earlier this month.

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